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Research Projects at the Centre for the Book

History of the Book in New Zealand

Five University of Otago scholars are collaborating to compose the first narrative history of the book in New Zealand, building on the research and publications of previous conferences and publications such as Book and Print in New Zealand. Participants are Prof. Tony Ballantyne, Dr. Donald Kerr, Dr. Lachy Paterson, Dr. Shef Rogers and Dr. Noel Waite. The book covers the period from earliest print through 2010 and includes a section on print in Māori.

Biography of Thomas Morland Hocken

Dr Donald Kerr has completed his biography, Dr. Hocken, Prince of Collectors.  It is available from Otago University Press and all good bookshops.

Dr Thomas Morland Hocken is the third member of the Trinity of New Zealand book collectors, and he was a contemporary of the other two: Sir George Grey (Auckland), and Alexander Turnbull (Wellington). Grey and Turnbull have books published about their collecting activities. This volume completes the survey of New Zealand’s most significant collectors.

Throughout his busy life as a medical practitioner in Dunedin, Dr. Hocken collected books, manuscripts, sketches, maps and photographs of early New Zealand. Much of the driving force to his collecting was based around James Cook and early discovery narratives, the Rev. Samuel Marsden and his contemporaries, Edward Gibbon Wakefield and the New Zealand Company, the Māori, and early settlement and colonisation, especially in the South. In 1910, Dr Hocken gave his extensive collection to the University of Otago.

Eighteenth-Century Travel Books in English

Dr. Shef Rogers has compiled a bibliography of all travel books published in English between 1700 and 1800, matching each edition to ESTC references and providing brief notes on source languages or languages that English titles were translated into. A few titles remain to be completed, after which he will compile the eight indexes that will make the book useful for a wide range of research interests.

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